TOUR JOURNAL

2002-07-27 The Greek - Berkeley, CA
By: Alan C.

Mourning for Mikey

Is mourning about the other person or about me? Tuesday I bought my tickets for the three Berkeley shows. Wednesday I emailed Marcus to see if he was going to the Berkeley shows. Thursday he said he had a review on Soberfans called “Widespread without Mikey.” Without Mikey? I’ve been concentrating on work and not on the email lists. The Panic website hadn’t said anything last I looked. What was he talking about? I had 10 minutes to find the review and any news before I had to run for my train home. I found out enough—the ‘Message from Mikey’ was stark and honest—Mikey wasn’t on the tour anymore and had terminal cancer.

I used to laugh at the Deadheads who so worshipped Jerry. Amazed at the spontaneous trek of thousands to San Francisco at his death. I saw the Dead maybe 30 times but always near home and never a whole 3-day run. I was always amazed Jerry kept truckin’ on with all his troubles and expected his death years before it actually happened. I enjoyed the vibe, but all the blue grassy stuff wasn’t my style. Then I found Panic.

My generation. A rock base but with the space-improv of the Dead. A unique electric guitar sound that permeated the music that was both intense and subtle. Mikey is my age. We both grew up on Black Sabbath. I met him once in Reno after a show with another fan, just hanging out in the Casino at the Hilton. He was showing us pictures of his new son, as smitten as any new father, just like we were buddies of his. I gave him a hard time about always looking down at his guitar. He took it in good spirit and said people always told him that and that he was getting better at looking up once in awhile. Totally nice guy, totally humble.

I love the band, but for me a band has a certain chemistry to wear that name. There are certain elements that allow them to tour under that name. I saw “Gilmore & Friends” and they called themselves Pink Floyd. I saw Roger & Pete and they called themselve....(cont. next page)